BONN, GERMANY 2010-04-11
The Climate Action Network (CAN), a coalition of over 500 NGOs worldwide, gives out two 'Fossil of The Day' awards to the countries who perform the worst during the past days negotiations at the UN climate change conference.
The awards given out on April 11, 2010 in Bonn, Germany were as follows:
Russia and Japan awarded First Place. What is it about the environmental impact of current Kyoto Protocol emissions reduction pledges that Japan and Russia don’t want to know – or don’t want the rest of us to know? These two parties have reportedly been blocking moves in the Kyoto discussions to request that the UNFCCC prepare a technical paper analyzing the environmental impact of the pledges being put forward by Annex B parties under the Kyoto Protocol. Could it be that they don’t want to face the truth? That most of the Kyoto parties' pledges are not consistent with the two-degree goal that so many of them say they desire to meet? That there is a multi-gigatonne gap between the promised cuts by Annex B and the cuts the science demands? To Japan and Russia we say: step out of the way and let this important work be done.
The Second Prize Fossil to Saudi Arabia. Starting from the first day of the UN climate session, the Saudis blocked rules of procedure, causing the exhausting and frustrating need for consensus. Can you imagine the progress that could be made if the Saudis' mission was not global destruction through blocking effective climate action and adaptation? So, as expected, the Saudis shone the past three days, first by undermining the chair by giving her a lesson on how to do her job; second, by saying that observers should respect their roles and simply observe, rather than engage; finally, by working hard to not giving the chair flexibility to push the process forward by opposing everything from producing new text to horizontal contact groups.
Third Place Fossil to Canada. Canada was awarded third place for failing to understand that emissions and not targets are supposed to be reduced. Canada's target under the Kyoto Protocol was 6% below 1990 levels by 2012. The Canadian Government walked away from this target long ago and replaced it with a unilateral target of 20% below 2006 levels by 2020 (which equates to a 3% reduction based on 1990 levels). As part of its association with the Accord, Canada changed its target and base year to a 17% reduction below 2005 levels. Which, by the way, is the same number as the USA - now who says Canada is not the 51st state? On a 1990 base year this translates to a 3% increase on 1990 levels! If Canada feels the need to harmonize its target with another country - may we suggest Norway, instead of the USA, who has a 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 science-based target?
About the fossils:
The Fossil-of-the-day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, also in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), a worldwide network of over 500 non-governmental organisations, vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks. www.climatenetwork.org